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Bitter Valentine | AleWerks Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
125 Reviews
THE BROS
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Bitter ValentineBitter Valentine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Double IPA is loaded with Pacific Northwest hops blended with a light malt backbone. A bitter Valentine for you to love, how ever unrequited.

Added by Viciousknishs on 02-18-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
125
Ratings:
518
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
20.81%
 
 
Wants:
125
Gots:
69
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 518
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.18/5  rDev 0%

Thanks to JustXBeer for sharing this one at mrbubbler's tasting.

Bottled 8/12/14.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, grapefruit juice, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with nice citrus forward hop qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had really high hopes of trying this one when I saw it on the draft list. This beer poured out as a nice looking golden copper color with a white head on top... The lacing was sticky and had a good retention to it. The smell of the beer was floral and citrusy, just like a good IPA should be. The taste was lively and had a great bitterness to it. The mouthfeel was drinkable with a good carbonation to it. Overall this beer was good, I'm always happy to try the beers that Williamsburg puts out.

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Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is very hazy amber yellow in color—too hazy to see if there is any visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that took a long time to die down, gradually leaving a large patch of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides.
S: Moderate aromas of citrus and tropical fruit hops are present in the nose—tangerines, pineapples, and mangos seem to stand out in particular.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but the flavors are much stronger. It isn't very bitter at first, but once the beer warms up the bitterness intensifies and particularly lingers into the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed the aromas and flavors of hops in this IPA. It has a very good drinkability for an Imperial IPA and drinks more like a standard IPA as you don't get any of the alcohol in the taste and the body isn't as heavy as other Double IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of brentk56
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out with a clear amber color and a two inch head of foam; plenty of streaky lacing is left behind

Smell: Tropical fruit salad (tangerine, mango, kiwi and a hint of peach) underpinned by a very bitter pithy aspect

Taste: The sugar cookie base is quickly overtaken by the hop bill, with the tropical fruit salad from the aroma making an early impression; sugary sweetness builds a bit, mid-palate, but after the swallow, the bitter pith flavors jut forward and linger into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A slightly different twist on a West coast style DIPA and, while I prefer a bit more citrus, this is quite good

Thanks, Dave_Treat, for the opportunity

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rustico in Alexandria. Served in a goblet.

Alcohol is listed as 9.0%.

A: Pours a clear light copper color with a nice tall off-white head with loads of lacing and great retention. I think I got those colors right; it's always so damn dark in this place.

S: My initial impression is loads of tropical fruits with a bit of citrus rind in the background. There may be a bit of malt, but I'm not getting any here. Mango and papaya abound. A bit of tangerine in there as well.

T: The flavor does not let me down either. Great continuation from the nose with prominent tropical and citrus fruits giving way to a fairly-heavy bitterness. Just a touch of warming alcohol. Load of fruity hope smack my tongue around.

M: Light-medium body with crisp carbonation. The feel is dominated by a fantastic bouquet of hops. Dry an bitter through and through.

O: A very, very solid offering. This is something that I am extremely proud to say came from Virginia. Now, please make more as I didn't hear about this beer until all the bottles were already gone.

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Photo of oline73
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a finger of smooth, off white head. The head fades to a thick ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Bready malt is surprisingly prevalent with some citrus peel and pine hops. The pine notes are very faint. There is a sweetness from the malt here as well.

Taste: Like a west coast DIPA but there is a lot more malt backbone. Quite bitter, but the bitterness is smooth, not too biting. Pine and citrus peel hops throughout, but the finish is especially bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the thick side of medium with very mild carbonation and a dry finish. Could use a bit more carbonation.

Overall: This is a really nice beer. The balance is very nice, the malt doesn't allow the hops to dominate too much, but they're still the star.

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Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an impy nonic a clear brass color with an almost full one finger white head atop.Pithy citrus rind and caramel malts in the nose,some lighter floral notes come thru as well.Citric and somewhat piney on the palate with a big sweet dough base coming into play like alot of the style.

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Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to riotinmyskull (Reddit) for supplying this goody.

Pours a lighter fizzy 1/2 finger head that fades at a med pace, with some sticky lacing, over mostly clear golden tan honey colored beer.

Nose brings some nice hops, mostly citrus with some tangerine and hint of orange zest, light stone fruit like apricot and nectarine, hint of tropical fruit grapefruit and pineapple, etc, but none of the hop characters dominant. A sweet malty base comes through underneath with some candied orange aromas.

Taste starts with sweet malts, juicy sweet malts with a bit of reddish malt flavors and hint of caramel, before hops kick in quickly. Quite bitter with some earthy bittering hops, then citrus and orange rind, fruits both stone and tropical bring tangerine, nectarine, apricot, slight peach like, pineapple, etc. Some nice fruit flavors. in the back end a slight bitter resinous fresh hop flavor comes in, that teases on astringent but not much. The finish stays quite bitter, with a long lingering bitterness on the finish, hints of tropical and stone fruits remaining, with a light pine and resinous musty hop lingering as well, and hints of candy hop, and fairly dry.

Mouth is med bodied, hint of warming booze but not much, decent carb.

Overall pretty good, an almost staple version of what a DIPA should be, a nice bitterness that borders astringency but doesn't overpower, long lingering bitter finish, nice balance between bittering and flavor/aroma hops, and nice balance of malty sweetness to back up the bitterness with a touch of booze that barely comes into play. Tasty and well done DIPA that I would love to try on draft, and get a regular supply of.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA
This review is for a bottle acquired also at Pinocchio's, Media, PA.

I typically don't do separate reviews for beer I've had in bottles and on tap, unless they're significantly different, and I feel that was the case with Bitter Valentine. While still a great beer overall, I definitely liked the taste much better when I had it fresh and on tap. Seems natural. On the other hand, the bottle pour had a much more attractive look to it, so it was really a different experience overall.

Poured into a Deschutes snifter, honey-amber with a fluffy, rocky, white head that retained well and left a bit of lacing on the glass. Aroma rich with citrusy hops and toasted bread. Big hop taste up front, quite more bitter than its on-tap counterpart, mix of orange pith and zest, and some pine notes, with a toasty malt base. Also not much of the tropical fruit flavors I got on tap either. Still very solid and enjoyable. Bitterness detracted a little from the mouthfeel, but still, medium bodied and easily drinkable. Nice beer overall. (Better fresh and on tap.)

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazy medium golden orange in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and moderate copper + honey highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy off-white head that reduces to a medium to large patch of medium thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of tropical/mango, citrus/tangerine, citrus/grapefruit pith, and stone fruit/peach hops over the top of moderate aromas of grainy + caramel malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to slightly stronger than moderate flavor of grainy + caramel malts with a moderate amount of caramel sweetness. That is followed by strong flavors of citrus/grapefruit pith, tropical/mango, citrus/tangerine, and stone fruit/peach hops in descending order of strength. There is a moderate to strong amount of bitterness which slowly fades away.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Hints of dryness in the finish.

O: Really nice combination of tropical, stone fruit, and citrus hops with a moderate amount of sweetness. Easy to drink with extremely well hidden alcohol. Definitely a really nice DIPA and especially great when fresh.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 02/24/12 notes. Bottled shared by BigSexy410; thanks man, excited to try it. 22 oz. bomber into a Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent orange-amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of pine hops, grapefruit, citrus hops, oranges, fruits malts, and light tropical fruits. Nose is awesome, very fresh and a ton of pine, citrus, and fruit. Loving it.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, grapefruit, pine hops, oranges, lemons, fruity malts, tropical fruits, and light floral hops. Taste is quite bitter. Very nice again, but not as great as the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, with a decent amount of bitterness.

o - Overall this is the best beer of all time.

All kidding aside and trying to eliminate some homerism, this is a very good DIPA. The nose is amazing, just full of fresh hops and fruits, and the taste is really good too. Some bitterness to the taste, but really nice. The night before having this I had a bottle of Lunch, White Rajah, and 1.5 month old Hopslam and I honestly think I liked this better then all of them. Really hoping they start brewing this one on a consistent basis.

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Photo of billab914
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip. It poured clear and amber orange in color. A thin white head barely covered the top of the beer and clung to the edges of the glass. Great color to it.

The aroma has a very bright and juicy hoppiness to it. I get a very nice tropical fruit component to it with some pineapple, peach and mango all coming out. Great aroma to it, I love the juicier, tropical fruit notes.

The taste has the juicy, tropical notes but it shows a little more of a dry, grapefruit and citrus rind bitterness in the finish. I get a little more of a sweeter maltiness showing through as well. Again though, the juicy, fruity, hop flavors really steal the show though for me.

The mouthfeel is medium bodies with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a great beer. I loved the juicy, tropical fruit like hoppiness to it. Very flavorful and drinkable. Williamsburg has a real winner with this one, I hope they make it more often.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is clear and orange hued with a small, white head. Plenty of sticky lacing coats the pint glass. The aroma is quite nice, offering grapefruit, misc. citrus, fresh hops. The flavor follows suit. Gotta love a fresh, citrusy DIPA. A touch of honey sweetness in the back. Lingering hop bitterness. Alcohol content well disguised. Highly drinkable, it was just too easy to drink the bomber unaided. I wish I had more. This is easily the best DIPA to emerge from the DC/Maryland/Virginia area so far.

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Photo of stakem
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Another fresh hoppy gem shared by Kegatron, thanks man! Bomber poured into a snifter the brew appears a perfectly clear copper color. Some white spotty lace sticks to the glass while the white frothy cap fades.

This smells like straight up fresh hop pellets. A little grassy, rindy, zesty with a bit of fruity melon-like aspect. Across the back is a light touch of alcohol.

The taste is fruity and zesty with rind-like bitterness. It has plenty of herbal character as well. It is somewhat bitey with the amount of hops almost borderline vegetative but in a good way.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is easy drinking with little alcohol impact for 9%. The hops almost seemed like the character of pelletized hops concentrated in a bag that was just opened right in your face. Exceptionally fresh and enjoyable.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.44/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle dated 2/10/2014, so this isn't very fresh.

Appearance - Deep orange body. Small white head with a medium collar.

Smell - Grapefruit and orange. Toasty malt. Some pithy grapefruit aromas. Caramel malt is substantial.

Taste - Grapefruit hops. Some brighter orange hops before a caramel malt and toasty bready malt kick in. Pithy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium to medium heavy. Kinda sweet, but not syrupy. Moderate bitterness.

Overall - Had this after Pure Happiness. That didn't help, nor does the age, but it's still a good beer.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Thorpe429 for the random hookup. Shared with the Chicago hags after Night of the Living Ales. Continued to use my taster glass at Chris' place.

A - Transparent golden body is topped by a finger-plus of white foam that settles to a thick collar, some wisps, but minimal lacework.

S - Extremely zesty, with citrus rind, chives, perhaps a touch of onion, pine, some mild dankness, and tropical fruits. Malt character is pretty understated, with some candied citrus. Potent and enjoyable stuff.

T - Malt character shines through a bit more in the flavor, with some sugar cookie and brown sugar flavors supporting the citrus, tropical fruits, pine, and zest. Again, I get a slight chive note that I generally associate with Summit or Citra hops - thankfully I like that flavor.

M - Medium body, with soft lower carbonation, no obvious alcohol, and a juicy texture. Finishes fairly dry. I could actually go for a few more bubbles here, but otherwise this is how I like them.

D - This is a very nice double IPA, and tastes far more like something you'd find in California than in Virginia. Doesn't raise the bar on the broadest scale, but for part of country that traditionally under-serviced this is probably a huge breath of fresh air. Highly enjoyable stuff - thanks Mike!

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Photo of smakawhat
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real gorgeous crystal clear body color, some very slow rising carbonation barely comes up through red and orange bronze body. It's a beautiful color. Head forms nicely, off white to faint cream yellow, some sticky sheets of lace while drinking.

Nose is just a tad one dimensional, but boy it is big. Ripping hops on this sucker, mostly I get a more pine sense from it on first pour. Dry, earthy, then comes some faint citrus orange behind it, after going back from a few sips, faint malt barely.

On taste, huge. A sweet rush at first, mixing with a good creamy palate feel. Juicy, bursting, mellow citrus at first, some orange, soft bodied, oily finish on the swallow. Stinging needles rooftop hop on the mouth. Warms up, gets white grapefruit and sprinkled white sugar, hot hop bitter mix with it a bit. A real controlled hop blast, and also a neat just before you swallow feel on this that is hard to describe. Mouth sticking, teeth coating, resiny finish.

Overall not boozy, controlled but large. Nearing perfection but a unique one in the big DIPA realm. This one is a whole nother level. Killer brew.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by yourefragile. I had to get on the Bitter Valentine train before it left town. A great IPA. Seriously a great IPA. Here's hoping for year round Bitter Valentine!!!

Served in a snifter. Beer is orange and clear. Moderate carbonation. Thin white head, some lacing, low retention.

Aroma is like a tropical fruit salad. A little sweet. Some alcohol sneaks through but this is a hop bomb in the nose.

Drinks a lot like Lagunitas sucks but bigger. It is sweet up front and clean on the finish with a fair amount of bitterness and string floral and fruit flavors from the hops. Mangos and papaya with some citrus flavors in the background. I'd definitely have it again. I want this beer to be the mid-Atlantic Pliny or Heady. MAKE MORE!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a muddled, opaque, orange-caramel coloring, with a low profile, clingy, white head. Aromas of lemon zest and lime, both sweet and tart, with subtle evergreen and piney notes. Subtle candi sugar and caramel backbone. Flavors are an outburst of citrus and tropical fruits forward, heavy on mango, apricot, grapefruit, lemon zest, lime, and orange rind. Hops profiles of pine tassel, dried grass, and rich evergreen. Subtle caramel backbone to support all of the fruit and hops characteristics. Smooth, mid-bodied, with a fruity and roasted aftertaste, still heavy on the citrus, both sweet and slightly acidic. The finish is smooth, light, and slightly dry. Very tasty, well balanced beer.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Blue Dog Pub in Lansdale.

Bitter Valentine had a golden look to it, pretty and bright with some orange haze mized in with amber tones. A very sturdy inch of white foam that left some nice globs.

This certainly smells like one of those nice west coast style IPA's yo heard of. This has a big piney scent with some tropic fruits in the mix. A nice biscuit type malt nose in the background. Earthy after a bit of warming with some sweetness settling in. No alcohol in the scent.

And tasting this, the first sips scorches the tounge with bitter dank piney resinous hops that stick. Getting around that some juicy fruit tropic taste with grapefruit. The pine shines though. Sweetness with warming and towards the end of the glass, a bit of a bubblegum presence with some caramel. The hops are the spotlight though

Feel less than medium with some lively carb in appearance, yet this goes down a bit smooth and not bitey. It is bitey in the sense that the hops cling to the mouth making the bitter in Bitter Valentine a true statement. Oily with resinous aftertaste.

At 9%, one is great at the bar, if i had some bombers of this at the house I would take down one or two of them easy as the flavor profile here is on point. I would do it ASAP as the hops tend to fade fast on these East Coast IPA's. This one has some muster though, glad to have tried it. Probably my favorite offering from this brewery that I've tried yet.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to richardflyr for the in person trade when he visited Utah.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice hazy golden orange color, nice carbonation, with a nice little fizzy off-white head, some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, nice touch of malts, with some citrus, and pine notes. The taste is very nice, a little hop bomb, with just enough malts to balance it out, nice citrus and pine to round things out. Medium body, with a slight dry/bitter finish. Overall this one really surprised me, glad to have a chance to try it. Thanks Dick!

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Photo of yourefragile
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a you have to be kidding me how is this beer as good as it is and finally AleWerks has lived up the potential hinted at by beers like their BB Porter and Pumpkin Ale which were sort of good but not quite great.

So after 900+ reviews that are completely irrelevant and no one cares about I decided that Lawson's Double Sunshine was my favorite beer and worthy of being bumped up to a 5.0 across the board. My first impression upon smelling and tasting this was that this is 90% as good as that beer (and only 25% of that is homerism). Which is insane, because A+ hoppy beers from the Maryland, DC, Virginia area are unfortunately these days...rare.

Beer pours a nearly clear, dark copper with an off white head and it looks like a double IPA so whatever.

Aroma is damn near perfect. Dank and tropical, with pine and citrus hops, faint malt and stronger citrus rind. Boom.

Flavor isn't quite as perfect as the nose or as rich as Double Sunshine, but very juicy, sweaty, and heavy on tropical hops. Mildly bitter and trace amounts of alcohol for the ABV. Very similar to Double Sunshine in body and balance of hops to malt, though hop profile isn't a direct comp.

$6.99/22 oz bottle and available in Total Wine and Whole Foods? Alewerks, please make this again and soon, not next Valentine's Day (I've already looked into registering www.alewerksmakemorebittervalentinenoworelse.com).

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Photo of flagmantho
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip. Bottle dated 5/22/14.

Appearance: rich golden hue with a tiny bit of haze and a light effervescence. Head pours a finger of frothy ivory foam and dissipates somewhat quickly but leaving a good lace. What a great color, though.

Smell: slightly sweet with a roundly complex hop aroma with a fruity and spicy character. Quite good.

Taste: rich, sweet malt provides a good backdrop to the piney, floral, and spicy hops. The flavor is a different character than the aroma. I think it works beautifully.

Mouthfeel: plenty of body, although carbonation is light. Not too bad.

Overall: dangerously drinkable for a beer of this strength. A great quaff.

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Photo of stevoj
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A nice break from the lighter end of the spectrum. Medium amber, slightly cloudy. Pretty mild for a DIPA. Body, aroma, taste, all right in the wheelhouse.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glad I finally got to try this one, though I suspect this bottle is past its prime. No dating makes it hard to be sure but my understanding is the most recent bottling was in April, making this bottle close to three months old.

Pours nearly clear, gold, with a small, quickly settling white head and patchy lacing.

Resinous, herbal, “weedy” aroma with noticeable caramel maltiness; smells both bitter and honey-sweet. Some tropical fruit notes.

The flavor is primarily hoppy and bitter, as the name implies, but has moderate sweetness that emerges more and more into a clear honey flavor as the beer warms a bit. Either way the malt has a substantial presence. Citrus fruit and piney, resinous hop notes. Lingering bitterness; sweetish finish. Booziness is also increasing noticeable as you work your way through the glass.

Medium bodied and carbonated, smooth and slightly sticky mouthfeel. A good DIPA but for me wasn’t anything to get too worked up over. Maltier, sweeter, and generally heavier feeling than most of my favorites of this style. Good enough hop character but the particular blend chosen wasn’t knocking me out. Again, no bottle dating, which seems inexcusable at this point. I’d like to try a fresher bottle sometime but won’t be springing for another if it’s unclear when it’s from.

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Bitter Valentine from AleWerks Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.
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